Golf Talk Live - Matt Kuchar Transcript Segment 3

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 14, 2001, 4:00 pm
JENNIFER MILLS
THIS WAS AT THE OLYMPIC CLUB, MATT, THE 18TH HOLE ON SUNDAY. YOUR 20TH BIRTHDAY, FATHER'S DAY. YOUR MEMORIES FROM THAT MOMENT.

MATT KUCHAR
WELL THE PUTT BEFORE THAT, TO THINK I WAS PUTTING FROM THERE, I HAD ABOUT 20 FEET AND I ENDED UP HAVING WHAT YOU SAW, LIKE 15 FEET COMING BACK. THAT GREEN'S PRETTY CRAZY BUT THE

FUNNY THING ABOUT THAT GREEN, WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THIS OFF THE BREAK, THE BUNKERS SAY 'I OWE YOU'. IT'S, IT'S FUNNY, LEADING UP TO THAT GREEN, WHEN YOU'RE WALKING UP THE FAIRWAY, YOU SEE 'I OWE YOU' AROUND

THE BUNKERS. THE LEFT ONE'S THE LONG KIND OF SKINNY BUNKER. SHORT RIGHT OF THE GREEN IS A, A KIND OF CIRCLE BUNKER, THEN RIGHT OF THE GREEN IS A 'U' BUNKER AND IT'S, IT'S KIND OF AMUSING WALKING UP AND SAYING THAT THE COURSE OWES YOU ONE.

JENNIFER MILLS
(LAUGHS)

MATT KUCHAR
SO I WAS, I WAS GLAD TO MAKE THAT PUTT . IT GOT ME BACK AT THE NEXT OPEN. I MEAN THAT SUNDAY WAS JUST A DREAM FOR ME. EVERY TEE I CAME TO, EVERY HOLE I WAS WALKING UP TO PEOPLE WERE SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY

AND THEN YOU'D HAVE SCREAMS OF HAPPY FATHER'S DAY AND TO PLAY SO WELL AT THE OPEN WAS, WAS QUITE A WEEK.

JENNIFER MILLS
NOW WITH THAT CAME AGAIN AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PUBLICITY AND MEDIA ATTENTION AND REQUESTS AND, AND ALL THE THINGS THAT GO INTO THAT. WAS THAT STILL SOMETHING YOU WERE ENJOYING OR AT THIS POINT IS IT STARTING TO GET A LITTLE TOO HECTIC?

MATT KUCHAR
THE, THE COOL THING, THAT SUNDAY, I COME INTO THE LOCKER ROOM AFTER MY ROUND, AND THERE'S A NOTE HANGING IN MY LOCKER FROM THE TONIGHT SHOW, AND JAY LENO HAS REQUESTED TO HAVE

ME ON THE TONIGHT SHOW, SO I IMMEDIATELY PICK UP A PHONE AND DIAL UP AND SAY, ALRIGHT, I CAN DO IT, WHEN AM I GOING?

JENNIFER MILLS
(LAUGHS)

MATT KUCHAR
SO, SOME OF THAT STUFF WAS GREAT BUT THEN, THAT'S KIND OF WHEN THE CRAZINESS STARTED AFTER THAT, I , I, I'D KIND OF FORMED A LITTLE PLAN. WENT OUT TO DO THE TONIGHT SHOW AND THEN THE PHONES, I CAME HOME AND THE PHONES WERE JUST RINGING OFF THE HOOK. I ENDED UP GOING TO FRIENDS HOUSES AND SPENDING THE NIGHT JUST

TO HIDE FROM THE PHONES, JUST WHERE NOBODY COULD GET ME EXCEPT MOM AND DAD. IT JUST, IT REALLY GOT OUT OF HAND AND I WASN'T SURE HOW TO HANDLE IT.

JENNIFER MILLS
WHEN YOU, WHAT DID YOU DECIDE TO DO? I MEAN, HOW DID YOU END UP HANDLING AND JUGGLING THE REQUESTS AND YOUR TIME?

MATT KUCHAR
I KNOW

JENNIFER MILLS
BECAUSE AT THIS POINT YOU'RE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. I MEAN

MATT KUCHAR
RIGHT

JENNIFER MILLS
I MEAN YOU LEFT, YOU'VE LEFT MAGIC KINGDOM, IF YOU WILL, OF, OF THE OPEN, THE MASTERS AND THE OPEN AND NOW YOU'RE GOING BACK TO BE A, A STUDENT.

MATT KUCHAR
YEAH, I'D ONLY JUST FINISHED MY SOPHOMORE YEAR AND KNEW I HAD TWO MORE YEARS LEFT OF SCHOOL, SO AFTER THE OPEN, I KNEW I WAS IN THE BRITISH OPEN AS WELL. I KNEW I HAD TO, HAD TO GO OVER AND DO THAT, AND FROM THERE I KIND OF FIGURED I'D MAKE MY DECISION AFTER THE BRITISH OPEN.

I GAVE MYSELF SOME TIME. MY FAMILY ALWAYS GOES UP TO A CAMP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE EVERY SUMMER AND THAT'S WHEN THE WHOLE FAMILY GETS TOGETHER AND I FIGURED I'D, I'D KIND OF DISCUSS THINGS THERE, AND SWEAR (?)

OUT A PLAN. WELL AT THAT POINT WE DISCUSSED THINGS AND STILL DIDN'T HAVE A PLAN.

JENNIFER MILLS
(LAUGHS)

MATT KUCHAR
WE JUST, THERE WAS SO MUCH UP IN THE AIR. WE REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. FINALLY MY DECISION CAME TO BE. IT WAS, IT WAS A TOUGH ONE TO MAKE BUT I DECIDED TO GO BACK MY JUNIOR YEAR FOR THE FALL QUARTER

AND I WAS GOING TO SEE IF I LIKE SCHOOL, IF I FELT LIKE I FIT IN, IF I FELT LIKE IT WAS RIGHT OR IF I WANTED TO GO TURN PRO AND AFTER A LITTLE BIT, AFTER, I DON'T KNOW, BEING BACK AND HAVING TO TAKE TESTS AND PLAYING COLLEGIATE TOURNAMENTS AFTER DOING THE

MASTERS AND THE U.S. OPEN AND HAVING ALL THESE POSSIBLE DOLLARS THAT I COULD HAVE I DECIDED I'M GOING PRO AND I WAS 100% SURE I WAS GOING PRO.

JENNIFER MILLS
AND THIS WAS IN THE FALL OF '98.

MATT KUCHAR
THE FALL OF '99.

JENNIFER MILLS
'99

MATT KUCHAR
I THINK IT WAS, YES. MY JUNIOR YEAR, BUT, IT GOT DOWN TO BEING DECISION TIME. NOW I HAD TO EITHER STEP IN OR STEP OUT AND THAT'S WHEN I DECIDED. THAT'S WHEN I STARTED THINKING, BOY IF I DO THIS I'M GOING TO REGRET IT 5 YEARS

DOWN THE ROAD AND I DIDN'T WANT THAT SO I STUCK IT OUT AND REALLY HAD TO KIND OF BUST MY BUTT TO GET THROUGH SCHOOL. I TOOK 21HOURS AND 18 HOURS THE REST OF THAT JUNIOR YEAR. IT WAS REALLY HARD BUT, I KNEW I WANTED TO GRADUATE. THAT WAS A

HUGE THING I WANTED TO CHECK OFF MY LIST, AND TO DO THAT I KNEW I COULDN'T TAKE SUMMER SCHOOL SO I HAD TO DO IT IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF A YEAR, AND SO I HAD TO BUST MY BUTT, AND, AND DID AND ARE GLAD I DID.

JENNIFER MILLS
AND GEORGIA TECH IS NO CAKE WALK EITHER, AND THAT'S COMING FROM A WAKE FORESTER SO

MATT KUCHAR
NO IT'S

JENNIFER MILLS
SO I'M GIVING YOU SOME PROPS HERE ON THAT. AS FAR AS SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES AT SCHOOL, YOU PLAYED BRICE MOLDER IS A

MATT KUCHAR
MHMM

JENNIFER MILLS
IS A FABULOUS PLAYER OR YOUR COACH, BRUCE HEPLER, I KNOW HAS DONE TREMENDOUS THINGS FOR YOU. YOU HAD A GOOD GROUP OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU THEN.

MATT KUCHAR
YEAH, WHAT A GREAT PROGRAM THEY DEVELOPED. COACH HAS DONE SUCH A MARVELOUS JOB THERE AT GEORGIA TECH. I KNOW IT'S FAIRLY EASY TO NEGATIVE RECRUIT AND A LOT OF GUYS

DO THAT TO GEORGIA TECH. IT'S, IT'S TOUGH ACADEMICALLY. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO STUDY. THAT'S A GIVEN. YOU'RE IN ATLANTA. THERE MAY BE TRAFFIC. YOU'RE NOT BUT 15 MINUTES TO

THE NEAREST GOLF COURSE. WHAT COACH HAS DONE IS, IS HE'S SET UP A GREAT PROGRAM FOR US TO GET THROUGH SCHOOL. I MEAN THE TUTORS I HAD WERE OUTSTANDING. ALL THE CLASSES I MISSED I JUST, YOU KNOW I HAD TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TUTORS.

COACH BUILT A DRIVING RANGE IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN ATLANTA. RIGHT NEXT TO SCHOOL. I MEAN TO BE ABLE TO GET THE LAND AND TO PUT UP, IT'S A

FIRST CLASS RANGE, AND, AND THE GOLF CENTER WE HAVE IS JUST OUTSTANDING, SO WHAT HE'S DONE TO OFFSET, KIND OF NEGATIVE RECRUITING IS, IS OUTSTANDING. I REMEMBER MY FRESHMAN YEAR I FINISHED SECOND IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT. THE TEAM FINISHED 8TH OUT OF 9 TEAMS, SO, WE KIND

OF HAVE BUILT THE PROGRAM UP AND HERE WE ARE BEING THE TOP RANKED TEAM IN THE COUNTRY MY LAST TWO YEARS AND NOW THIS YEAR, AGAIN, BRICE IS CARRYING ON THE FLAG AND YOU KNOW THEY'RE, THEY'RE RANKED ONE OR

TWO RIGHT WITH GEORGE. IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT NCAA WITH GEORGIA.

JENNIFER MILLS
YOU'VE GOT A SHOT AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP YOUR SENIOR YEAR.

MATT KUCHAR
MHMM

JENNIFER MILLS
AND CAME AGONIZINGLY CLOSE, LOSING IN A PLAYOFF TO OKLAHOMA STATE. IT WAS SOMETHING I KNOW YOU WANTED.

MATT KUCHAR
THAT, THAT WAS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE CHECKMARKS AND THAT KILLS ME, THINKING, I HATE THINKING BACK TO IT. THINKING BACK TO THAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND LOSING IN A PLAYOFF. JUST ONE SHOT OUT OF, I THINK IT WAS

ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE SHOTS TO ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWELVE SHOTS. OR, SOMETHING WITH THAT NUMBER AND IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE IT COMES DOWN TO JUST ONE.

JENNIFER MILLS
MHMM

MATT KUCHAR
BUT I THINK THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON AND YOU KNOW WE, WE MOVE ON, BUT THAT'S, THAT'S ONE, MAYBE THE ONE THING I WISH I COULD HAVE OVER WAS MAYBE JUST ONE SHOT OUT THERE.

JENNIFER MILLS
IS IT TRUE YOU LIVED IN A DINING ROOM? WAS YOUR BEDROOM THE DINING ROOM?

MATT KUCHAR
(LAUGHS)

MY SENIOR YEAR I LIVED IN A DINING ROOM. THAT'S RIGHT. I

JENNIFER MILLS
(LAUGHS)
HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

MATT KUCHAR
JUST STRUCK UP SOME GREAT FRIENDSHIPS WITH SOME OF THE BASKETBALL GUYS. WASN'T SURE WHERE I WAS GOING TO LIVE MY SENIOR YEAR. THESE GUYS HAD A HOUSE JUST OFF OF CAMPUS. ONE OF THE COOLEST HOUSES THERE WAS, AND THEY WEREN'T SURE IF

ONE GUY WAS GOING TO STAY IN THE HOUSE THE NEXT YEAR OR NOT, SO IT ENDED UP HE STAYED IN THE HOUSE AND I WAS LIKE BOY I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'M GOING TO LIVE NOW. SO THEY SAID WELL JUST STAY IN THE DINING ROOM. SO SURE

ENOUGH I CAN PUT A BED IN THE DINING ROOM. IT'S GOT TWO FRENCH GLASS DOORS SO NO PRIVACY AT ALL BUT I PUT UP SHELVES AND I ACTUALLY MADE IT INTO A GREAT ROOM. THERE'S FOUR GOLFERS IN THERE NOW. JUST LIKE AT,

WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL WE HAD FOUR PEOPLE SO ANOTHER GUY, WES LADERMAN (?) WAS TAKING OVER THE DINING ROOM AND IT'S, IT'S JUST A MARVELOUS HOUSE WHERE EVERYBODY

CAN COME OVER AND YOU CAN HAVE PARTIES. YOU CAN JUST, IT'S SO WELL LOCATED AND SUCH A NEAT HOUSE TO JUST KIND OF SIT AND HANG OUT IN. IT, IT WAS, IT WAS A BLAST.

JENNIFER MILLS
WELL WE CAN TELL YOU OBVIOUSLY HAD NO FUN WHATSOEVER

STAYING IN SCHOOL FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS

MATT KUCHAR
(LAUGHS) NO

JENNIFER MILLS
WELL ASIDE FROM HAVING FUN, MATT DID QUITE A BIT. HE'S GOT A NUMBER OF ACHIEVEMENTS. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BREAK, AS WE GO TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE ACCOMPLISHMENTS. WE'LL BE BACK IN JUST A FEW MOMENTS.

(MUSIC)

(WRITTEN TEXT)
MATT KUCHAR
SELECTED CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS:
- MEDALLIST OR CO-MEDALLIST OF 7 EVENTS AT GEORGIA TECH, ONE SHY OF THE RECORD HELD BY DAVID DUVAL AND BRYCE MOLDER
- MADE THE CUT IN 6 OF THE FIRST 7 PGA TOUR EVENTS HE PLAYED, INCLUDING 2 MASTERS
- SHARES MARK FOR 2ND BEST SCORE (288) BY A FIRST YEAR AMATEUR AT THE MASTERS

NEXT SEGMENT
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

Getty Images

Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.